• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    Buick Week: 2013 Buick Verano Turbo First Drive


    December 5th, 2012

    Drew Dowdell

    Managing Editor - CheerandGears.com

    I am running a bit late with today’s Buick Week entry because I spent the day running around the countryside surrounding Atlanta, Georgia putting a few 2013 Buick Encores through the paces. That review will be available for you to tomorrow. In case you missed it, yesterday we went on a First Drive of the 2013 Buick Enclave. On the first day of Buick week I took you on a full review of the 2013 Buick Verano. Today we are going on a first drive of the Buick Verano Turbo.

    Buick Week:

    Day 1 – 2013 Buick Verano Review

    Day 2 – 2013 Buick Enclave First Drive

    Day 3 – 2013 Buick Verano Turbo First Drive

    This ain't Buick first time at the rodeo...

    sml_gallery_51_518_23003.jpg
    Buick has a long history with forced induction engines and arguably more experience than any other US brand. Beyond the legendary Buick GNX and Grand National, Buick produced turbo versions of their Riviera and Regal coupes in the 1980s, super charged Regals, Rivieras, and Park Avenues in the 1990s, and recently reintroduced turbo-charging in the Regal with two performance levels of turbo charged engines in that car.

    But those are all larger luxury cars and this is a story about a compact. Did you know that Buick offered a fire cracker version of their compact, J-Body based Buick Skyhawk in 1984? The Turbo was offered only in the T-Type trim, the 1984 Skyhawk T-Type came with a 1.8 liter DOHC turbo-charged 4-cylinder putting out 150 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque in a car that weighed in right around 2400lbs. These are excellent power to weight numbers today much less in 1984, when GM’s V8s could not even wheeze out similar horsepower numbers. In 1987, Buick increased the engine’s displacement to a full 2.0 liters, horsepower was up to 165, and torque wrenched in at 175 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm. Production of the Skyhawk ended in 1989. Though relatively unknown, these Skyhawk T-types were fun little compacts that could provide a swift kick in the pants when asked to.

    But what's 1984 got to do with me?

    sml_gallery_51_518_126936.jpg
    That brings us to the present day. For 2013, Buick is adding a 2.0 liter turbo engine to their compact Verano. With 250 horsepower and 260 ft-lb of torque on tap from the direct injected engine will give you a swift kick in the pants just like that Skyhawk of old could. Weighing in at about 3,300 lbs, the Verano Turbo runs to 60 in 6.2 seconds. Though the mileage penalty (20 city/31 highway – manual) and (21 city / 30 highway – automatic) is minimal over the 2.4 liter powered Verano, Buick does recommend premium fuel, though it will sip regular if needed with a slight performance penalty.

    Buick invited me to drive both the manual and automatic transmission versions of the Verano Turbo through the countryside surrounding Louisville, KY.

    Visually, there is very little external difference between the Turbo and non-Turbo versions, you just get a rear spoiler, dual chrome-tip exhaust, and an extra badge on the trunk. Inside the story is much the same, save for a set of metallic sport pedals. My main complaint inside the Verano continues in the turbo editions: the lack of power seat recline for the driver and complete lack of power seat adjustment entirely for the passenger. For a car that can easily crest over the $30k mark, these are noticeable absences.

    med_gallery_51_518_57964.jpg

    Buick compacts: Now available in "Faster"

    The story of the Verano Turbo is entirely about how it drives. By starting with the already excellent handling of the base Verano and adding the thrust of the turbo charged engine, Buick has created a compact premium sedan that is deceptively quick.

    In the manual version, the shifter throws are a bit long, but they are nice and smooth. Once you’re accustomed to the car, relaxed shifting can be a simple two-finger “snick-snick” between gears. Torque comes on strong at low RPM and is maintained up to 5,500 – 6,000 rpm. You never seem to feel out of breath in this car like I had with the non-Turbo version. Turbo lag is minimal and non-car-nerds could be excused for thinking this is a V6 powered car. The clutch is on the light side and won’t wear out your left foot on long drives.

    sml_gallery_51_518_208341.jpg
    The automatic transaxle is an upgraded version of the same transmission in the 2.4 liter powered car. Designed to take the higher torque load of the turbo engine, it goes about its work with a lot less flare than the manual transmission equipped Veranos. It does have a driver control mode for manu-matic style shifting, but it really isn't necessary to use even during enthusiastic driving. Leaving the car in drive simply lets the transmission do the job GM programmers designed it to do. Still, if you want to tell it when to shift, down-shifts and up-shifts came in a crisp, business-like manner.

    The extra thrust wouldn't be worth much if the Verano couldn't handle it in the corners. Buick firmed up the Verano’s suspension and steering a bit resulting in a car that feels surprisingly well balanced for being front-wheel drive.

    On the issue of noise control, Buick actually had to dial back the quiet tuning a little bit because they felt that Verano buyers who opted for the Turbo model would actually want to hear more of the engine while driving. Most of the change comes from exhaust tuning and gives the Verano Turbo a sound that can start the gears turning in a gear head.

    Overall the Verano turbo is for the buyer who appreciates the comfort of a premium compact but still want to have the that extra trust to experience an exhilarating run down a country road. Buick is reporting over 50% conquest rate for all Verano models with over 50% of those coming from import brands. Additionally, Buick has seen their average buyer age drop by 7 years over the last 5 years. Buick did not share with me the take rate on Veranos equipped with the 2.0t. but the turbo-boosted 2013 Buick Verano should help Buick turbo-boost those numbers even more in their favor.

    Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter as @cheersngears

    Disclaimer: Buick provided transportation to and accommodations in Louisville, KY for this event.

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    Nice write up, sounds like Buick has a true winner that will meet many peoples needs for a compact near luxury ride. This should compete and win sales from Acura, Lexus and Infinity. Nice to see Buick doing to the mid market segment what ATS is doing the top level luxury segment.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Nice to see a stick available. The two issues I have with this car are the turbo engine it'self and the lack of interior storage, which seems to be common to all the new Buicks. For this small of a car I expect better than V6 mileage and performance. In fact the much larger Accord is quicker and gets a full 4 better highway MPG for about the same coin with world better interior space and similar sport. Still this car is a good start for Buick shoppers and does offer a nice dose of luxury.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Nice to see a stick available. The two issues I have with this car are the turbo engine it'self and the lack of interior storage, which seems to be common to all the new Buicks. For this small of a car I expect better than V6 mileage and performance. In fact the much larger Accord is quicker and gets a full 4 better highway MPG for about the same coin with world better interior space and similar sport. Still this car is a good start for Buick shoppers and does offer a nice dose of luxury.

    Same can be said for the 2.4 ILX w.r.t. Accord.

    The car markets are different.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    There is a difference in nimbleness between this and the Accord.

    in no way did the 2013 accord or the ones before that ever felt -nimble-. the constant impression that car and driver and such gives of the accord being a sporting car, i just don't get. the accord sucks.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    There is a difference in nimbleness between this and the Accord.

    in no way did the 2013 accord or the ones before that ever felt -nimble-. the constant impression that car and driver and such gives of the accord being a sporting car, i just don't get. the accord sucks.

    Exactly. The Fusion and Optima are more nimble than the Accord and the Verano Turbo is more nimble than all of them. The ILX may have a slight edge on the Verano Turbo at 8/10th, but below that skill level, no one would be able to tell the difference. The interior and especially the noise level of the Verano is far more premium than the ILX is.

    The ILX is for the fart can Civic driver who just got promoted to front end team lead at the local bank branch.

    The Verano Turbo is for everyone else who wants a premium car with zest but is more mature about it.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    There is a difference in nimbleness between this and the Accord.

    in no way did the 2013 accord or the ones before that ever felt -nimble-. the constant impression that car and driver and such gives of the accord being a sporting car, i just don't get. the accord sucks.

    Exactly. The Fusion and Optima are more nimble than the Accord and the Verano Turbo is more nimble than all of them. The ILX may have a slight edge on the Verano Turbo at 8/10th, but below that skill level, no one would be able to tell the difference. The interior and especially the noise level of the Verano is far more premium than the ILX is.

    The ILX is for the fart can Civic driver who just got promoted to front end team lead at the local bank branch.

    The Verano Turbo is for everyone else who wants a premium car with zest but is more mature about it.

    :rofl:

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    My point is that you can get a far larger car that IMO is plenty nimble in 2013 Sport trim with more V6 power and better mileage than GM is doing with there smaller turbo 4's. This small of a car should be quicker and easily be able to hit 35 highway MPG. The Fusion and Optima are two more examples of why it would be hard to settle for the cramped Verano.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I finally drove a Verano, though not a turbo a few days ago. Wanted to like it because the value, quiet and quality of materials but the driving experience was decidedly biased towards comfort and isolation, in the way an ES350 or Lacrosse would be IMO, but a little more agile feeling due to the smaller size.

    If they offered a firmer sport suspension/tires on the turbo as an option down the line maybe I'll take one for a spin, or look for availability of aftermarket options.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    repeat - the new Accord sucks. It is not at all the big to do like the f_ckheads at Car and Driver make it out to be.

    It's a pathetic example of bias and probably payola.

    I'll lay 16 trillion down right now that the new Mazda6 is a much better car than the new Accord, but the assholes at C/D will still lay claim to the Accord being sliced bread and everything more.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    If you're looking for a nice big family sedan that is efficient, Passat TDI all the way. It feels sorta like am older S-class inside.

    My neighbor traded in her VW CC for a new black Passat TDI last week. She's very happy with the Passat and likes the fuel mileage she's getting.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    My dad really wants a TDI passat. He loves diesel though. Used to wrench em. He's pretty much had all GM and Cadillacs his entire life. He really wants that Passat TDI.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The only thing he might miss is the ability to put the spurs into it at highway speeds. The Passat is a big comfy package. If they ever make a larger TDI engine for it, that would really address my only complaint. They could put the Audi 3.0 TDI in, but I suspect Audi wouldn't like that. So make a 2.8 TDI version to use in the Veedubs.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

      Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. blue-bowtie
      blue-bowtie
      (38 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      We have been wondering what the next-generation Buick Enclave would look like and now we have a general idea. Automotive News got their hands on some new spy shots showing an Enclave test mule sitting at a gas station. It appears Buick has made the Enclave less bulbous than the current model. The front end features Buick's new waterfall grille that debuted on the LaCrosse and a set of slim headlights. For the back, there's a new set of taillights and dual-exhaust system.
      If the Chevrolet Traverse is anything to go by, the Enclave will get the current 3.6L V6 producing 305 horsepower hooked up to a nine-speed automatic. There is the possibility of a 2.0L turbo-four with 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
      The next-generation Buick Enclave is expected to debut at the New York Auto Show.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      We have been wondering what the next-generation Buick Enclave would look like and now we have a general idea. Automotive News got their hands on some new spy shots showing an Enclave test mule sitting at a gas station. It appears Buick has made the Enclave less bulbous than the current model. The front end features Buick's new waterfall grille that debuted on the LaCrosse and a set of slim headlights. For the back, there's a new set of taillights and dual-exhaust system.
      If the Chevrolet Traverse is anything to go by, the Enclave will get the current 3.6L V6 producing 305 horsepower hooked up to a nine-speed automatic. There is the possibility of a 2.0L turbo-four with 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.
      The next-generation Buick Enclave is expected to debut at the New York Auto Show.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
      Pic Credit: William Maley for Cheers & Gears
    • By William Maley
      GM Announces January U.S. Sales, Affirms Positive Outlook
      DETROIT — General Motors (NYSE: GM) U.S. dealers delivered 195,909 cars, trucks and crossovers in January, down 3.8 percent year over year. Retail sales totaled 155,010 units, down 4.9 percent, and the company set a new January record for average transaction prices.
      “In early January, we focused on profitability while key competitors sold down their large stocks of deeply discounted, old-model-year pickups,” said Kurt McNeil, U.S. vice president of Sales Operations. “We gained considerable sales momentum as we rebuilt our mid-size pickup, SUV and compact crossover inventories from very low levels following record-setting December sales.”
      Inventories of most of these products were in the 30 – 50 days’ supply range at the beginning of January.
      January Highlights (vs. Jan. 2016)
      GM estimates that the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate (SAAR) for light vehicles was approximately 17.6 million units. GM’s ATPs, which reflect retail transaction prices after incentives, rose $1,200 per unit to $34,500, a new January record.  GM was the only domestic automaker and one of only two full-line automakers to reduce incentives as a percentage of ATP. GM spending was 12.7 percent, down 0.3 points, and the industry average was 12.3 percent, up 1.3 points. Rental deliveries were down 1 percent. Total fleet sales were up 1 percent on a 12 percent increase in Government deliveries and a 1 percent increase in Commercial sales. GM’s fleet mix was 21 percent of total sales. Small business deliveries were up 4 percent. Chevrolet Retail Sales
      The Cruze, up 22 percent, the Volt, up 56 percent, and the Trax, up 40 percent, had their best-ever January retail sales. Total sales were also January records. Spark deliveries were up 40 percent. Bolt EVs, which were available in California and Oregon during the month, had the fastest days to turn in the industry at 7 days. The Tahoe, up 8 percent, and Suburban, up 11 percent, had their best January retail sales since 2008. The Equinox was up 4 percent. The Colorado was up 9 percent for its best January retail sales since 2005. Total sales were also the highest January since 2005. Sales of the Silverado HD pickup were up 32 percent for the truck’s best January retail sales since 2008. Total HD sales were also the best since 2008. Buick Retail Sales
      Crossover deliveries were up 20 percent, driven by higher Encore sales and the first-ever Envision. Average transaction prices were up 9 percent, four times better than the industry average growth. GMC Retail Sales
      Deliveries of the Acadia were up 15 percent. Sierra deliveries were up 2 percent, for the truck’s best retail January sales since 2002. Average transaction prices were up 7 percent, more than three times better than the industry average growth. Cadillac Retail Sales
      Cadillac sales were up more than 1 percent. Crossover deliveries were up 11 percent, on the strength of the new XT5. Total Escalade deliveries were up 10 percent, driven by 7 percent increase in Escalade ESV retail sales. Average transaction prices were the highest in the brand’s history at $55,300, up about $1,000 year over year. GM Momentum Continues to Grow
      In 2016, GM was the industry’s fastest-growing full-line automaker on a retail sales basis, and Chevrolet has been the fastest-growing full-line brand for two consecutive years on a retail basis. Chevrolet grew retail market share in 2015-2016 by almost one full percentage point, which translates to more than 120,000 incremental sales.
      “Our go-to-market strategy in 2017 is the same as 2016,” McNeil said. “We are focused on strengthening our brands, growing retail sales and share, reducing daily rental deliveries and maintaining our operating discipline.”
      GM is optimistic about the year ahead because the economy is strong and the company’s four brands are dramatically expanding their product offerings in fast-growing crossover segments.
      Industry sales are expected to remain at or near record levels, with higher GM retail sales and market share on a year-over-year basis. GM’s deliveries to daily rental companies are expected to decline as a percentage of total sales for the third year in a row. GM will continue to match production with customer demand. Previously announced plans to reduce passenger car production at plants in Lordstown, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan were implemented at the end of January. GM’s operating discipline will help drive continued improvements in brand health and resale values. During January, IHS Markit said GM had the highest overall loyalty to a manufacturer for the second year in a row. Also, Kelley Blue Book gave seven Chevrolet and GMC vehicles awards for outstanding resale value, more than any other manufacturer. Ten all-new or recently redesigned crossovers are expected to drive GM’s 2017 sales results, including two new compact models, which will compete in the industry’s largest segment. Crossover Launches by Brand
      Chevrolet will have the industry’s broadest and freshest lineup of utility vehicles behind the 238-mile range Bolt EV; the 2018 Equinox, which arrives in showrooms soon; and the all-new Traverse, which arrives this summer. At Buick, crossovers are expected to account for as much as 75 percent of retail deliveries, up from 66 percent in 2016, driven by the Encore, Envision and Enclave. GMC, which has the highest average transaction prices of any non-luxury brand, will launch the all-new 2018 Terrain in late summer. It will complement the redesigned Acadia, which went on sale in late summer 2016. Cadillac will benefit from a full year of production of the new XT5 crossover, which is now the second best-selling vehicle in its segment.
    • By William Maley
      It has been a long time coming. But we knew sooner or later, we would get our first glimpse at the upcoming Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (also Buick Regal and Holden Commodore) minus the camo. That day has finally arrived as the Insignia sedan and Sport Tourer have been caught uncovered. 
      The front end reminds us a lot of the current Mazda6 - a flat nose with a pentagonal grille and slim headlights. Along the side, there has been some sculpting along the lower part of the doors that add some sharpness. The back end features similar styling to the Buick LaCrosse with a similarly shaped trunklid and taillights that extend into the rear fenders. The Sport Tourer features a more distinctive character line and a steeply raked rear tailgate.
      Both models are the top-line OPC trim which means a number of sporty touches to the exterior, 20-inch wheels, large Brembo brakes, small spoiler, and dual exhaust tips.
      The second-generation Insignia is 2.1 inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that has been stretched 3.6 inches. This should help one of the key issues of the current Insignia and its brethren, a tight back seat. The new Insignia has also been lowered by 1.1 inches to give it a sportier stance.
      Motor1 reports that Opel and Vauxhall will reveal the next-generation Insignia later this month online, followed by a debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The Sports Tourer expected a few months later. 
      Source: Motor1.com

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It has been a long time coming. But we knew sooner or later, we would get our first glimpse at the upcoming Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (also Buick Regal and Holden Commodore) minus the camo. That day has finally arrived as the Insignia sedan and Sport Tourer have been caught uncovered. 
      The front end reminds us a lot of the current Mazda6 - a flat nose with a pentagonal grille and slim headlights. Along the side, there has been some sculpting along the lower part of the doors that add some sharpness. The back end features similar styling to the Buick LaCrosse with a similarly shaped trunklid and taillights that extend into the rear fenders. The Sport Tourer features a more distinctive character line and a steeply raked rear tailgate.
      Both models are the top-line OPC trim which means a number of sporty touches to the exterior, 20-inch wheels, large Brembo brakes, small spoiler, and dual exhaust tips.
      The second-generation Insignia is 2.1 inches longer and rides on a wheelbase that has been stretched 3.6 inches. This should help one of the key issues of the current Insignia and its brethren, a tight back seat. The new Insignia has also been lowered by 1.1 inches to give it a sportier stance.
      Motor1 reports that Opel and Vauxhall will reveal the next-generation Insignia later this month online, followed by a debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The Sports Tourer expected a few months later. 
      Source: Motor1.com
  • Recent Status Updates

    • Drew Dowdell

      Me: I'll take "Shopping" for $800.
      Alex:"This shopping location is popular on Sundays for groups of gay couples, families with small children, and college kids with parents in tow to gather."
      · 3 replies
    • Drew Dowdell

      @gmc Sierra Denali with manufacturer plates and a never used snow plow. Wonder what's going on here.
      · 2 replies
    • Drew Dowdell

      Wait a minute wait a minute.... Flynn commits an illegal act and the Republican reaction is "OMG! Who told on him? We have to find out who it was!!!"
      · 1 reply
  • Who's Online (See full list)